Monday, February 28, 2011

D.I.Y Chili Powder

"Real" chili is the topic of debate that stretches across the country, but concentrates in Texas.  Does it have tomatoes? Pork and or beef? beans? Masa flour?  Then you run into specialty items like chocolate, mole, mushrooms and even MSG.
However, every chili seems to build around a variation of one thing - chili powder.
All crazy ingredients and Texans aside, making your own chili powder is the first step towards a great bowl of "red".  Once you take this leap, you'll never go back.

D.I.Y. Chili Powder

    3 mild & sweet chiles - Ancho, guajillo, mulato
    3 complex & tasty chiles - Cascabel, chipotle, pasilla
    3 hot & spicy chiles - arbol, cayenne, habenero, pequin
    2 tablespoons whole cumin seeds
    2 tablespoons garlic powder
    1 tablespoon oregano (Mexican oregano if you can find it)
Starting at the top left and going clockwise - New Mexico Chile, Smoked Habañero, Chipotles and Pequins
Stem and seed your chili peppers. Toast them in a heavy bottomed skillet , along with the cumin seeds, over medium heat until the cumin just starts to just jump around and pop.  It should smell amazing.  Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool. 
Once they're cool,  transfer to a spice grinder and grind well.  Store this in an airtight (preferably opaque) container in a dark cool place. It'll be good for up to 6 months . . . if it lasts that long.

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